November 23, 2011Read: 1 Thessalonians 5
"In all things give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:18 Over 100 years ago, a very successful lawyer and real estate mogul, Horatio Spafford, lost a lot in the great Chicago fire of 1870, but years later he lost much, much more. The fire left thousands homeless, and Horatio and his family spent years helping those less fortunate. Exhausted, Horatio and his wife, along with their four daughters planned a cruise to Europe. But just prior to pushing off, Horatio was called upon to stay for business. Still, he sent his family on their much-needed vacation.
Their ship however, the Ville du Havre, didn’t make it to England. Horatio learned of the tragedy through the now famous and urgent telegram from his wife. It read simply, "Saved. Alone."
I'm probably not the first person to do a poor job of summarizing the story of Horatio Spafford, but I was reminded of it yesterday while on a walk with my dog, Josey. As I turned a corner, talking to the Lord about my needs and concerns of our new website, I came across a homeless woman; mid-thirties, sunburned, sitting next to what looked like years of life in a shopping cart. I smiled, and she called Josey "perty." As I continued to walk, I thought to myself, "I'm worried about web traffic. She lives in traffic."
This week is a good reminder to hug those close to us, and to help those less fortunate. And 130 years later, Horatio can help us do just that. You may not recognize his name, but you know his famous hymn. As he boarded a ship to find his wife, he wrote these words; good words for us to remember and repeat as we give thanks, if for no other reason than being saved alone.
"It is well with my soul. When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul!”
So from our families to yours, have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.